Ranking 10 worst starters of the Anthony Davis era

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Brian Roberts Hornets
Brian Roberts, New Orleans Hornets. Pablo Prigioni, New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

9. Brian Roberts – 47 Games Started, -1.2 Box Plus-Minus as a Pelican

Point Guard Brian Roberts spent the first two seasons of his career with the Pelicans. During that time, he started 47 games with the team. If you look at the standard box score numbers and some advanced measures, you will see some nice stuff as it pertains to his offense.

For instance, he shot 35.6% on his threes and 90.8% on his free throws during his time as a Pelican. Those are strong indicators that he’s a pretty good shooter. On top of that, he ranked in the 75th percentile in Passer Rating, and 87th percentile in Box Creation in 2013-14 (per thinkingbasketball.net). For those wondering, Passer Rating estimates a player’s passing ability and Box Creation estimates playmaking ability. So, Roberts can shoot and pass.

However, at 6’1 and only 170 pounds, Roberts didn’t exactly have the body to mime Jrue Holiday’s impact on defense. During his time with New Orleans, he posted a Defensive Box Plus-Minus (DBPM) of -1.5.

Guards are typically your worst defenders, but the Pelicans were especially bad when Roberts was on the floor. In 2012-13, the Pelicans were 2.9 points worse on defense when Roberts was on the floor (24th percentile, per Cleaning the Glass). Maybe you can live with a backup who is okay on offense and horrible on defense. But having a starter with that skill set is far from optimal.